37 episodes

6th Graders at LREI take part in the innovative music curriculum the Young Composers & Improvisors Workshop (YCIW). YCIW seeks to give every student the opportunity to explore how music works through making original music. For this workshop students were asked to choose any musical style and explore all of its important characteristics. They utilized these important stylistic traits in their compositions.

The concert was performed by YCIW artists-in-residence the Metropolis Ensemble under the direction of Andrew Cyr.

Workshop #9 Young Composers & Improvisors Workshop Recordings Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin HS (LREI)

    • Arts

6th Graders at LREI take part in the innovative music curriculum the Young Composers & Improvisors Workshop (YCIW). YCIW seeks to give every student the opportunity to explore how music works through making original music. For this workshop students were asked to choose any musical style and explore all of its important characteristics. They utilized these important stylistic traits in their compositions.

The concert was performed by YCIW artists-in-residence the Metropolis Ensemble under the direction of Andrew Cyr.

    Mango Rag

    Mango Rag

    The style of music that I studied was Ragtime. I learned that Ragtime was first played by traveling minstrels, such as Scott Joplin. I learned about the form of Ragtime, about secondary dominants, and other things. I also found out that Scott Joplin named several of his pieces after fruit and other sweet things, so I decided to name my composition think my piece changes into different sounds a lot and I can't really say that it has one specific sound. The melody sort of changes at times, but you can tell which part the chorus is at because it is using the most instruments, and it is repeated. I can never remember how I started any of my pieces, I usually just put down random notes and it starts growing into chords and the main melody. I added to my piece by listening to a certain part constantly and then seeing what is wrong with it or seeing what it needs, and then I would add or change the notes. I think the main instrument was the piano, but from having to change it and putting basically the same notes in another instrument, I think the main instrument is now the violin. I knew that Ragtime has an uneven treble and a steady, rhythmic bass. I wrote a chord progression, then based a "off-beat" melody off of the notes, and then I created a repetitive bass off of the melody. Then I orchestrated it, creating the main theme of my piece. Then I wrote several other melodies to keep the composition interesting. It was actually a really fun. The main melody is played mainly by the violin and the trumpet. Also, I named my piece Mango Rag because Scott Joplin named several of his famous pieces after fruit and other sweet things, so I decided to name my composition something fruity and sweet. And what's more sweet and fruity than a Mango? Composing music has taught me a lot. I have learned so much. I have learned how to write a singable, memorable melody, how to orchestrate a composition, how to create a chord progression, how to make a harmony, and tons of other great skills. At the beginning of the year, I would not know where to start in writing music, but now I know exactly what to do. Now I know how to really write music!

    • 1 min
    Irish Etude

    Irish Etude

    I chose Irish Music. I learned that Irish music is fast and it has more skips and leaps than American Pop Music. It was easy to incorporate all the instruments except the bass because in Irish Music there is not really a bass. The main melody is in the violin. Composing music has taught me to make my music however I want.

    • 1 min
    The Mountainside

    The Mountainside

    Before we wrote our piece, we were required to study a style and incorporate different techniques from that style into our piece. I chose to study Irish music because I liked that it was fast and up-beat. I incorporated different things such as how the form of the chord progression flows and the scales I used to make it sound Irish. I put the main melody in the violin because it is a commonly used instrument in Irish music and also because it can play quite quickly allowing me to write fast and upbeat music that sounds like a jig. Composing music has allowed me to appreciate all of the great works of music written by the greats. It has taught me that music is pretty hard to compose, and takes a pretty long time, but in the long term it feels pretty good to hear your own piece that you wrote.

    • 2 min
    Little House of Blues

    Little House of Blues

    The style of my piece is blues. I chose this style because most of my other pieces were more melancholy and different, more modern and sad. One of the things I learned from studying the blues is that all music is very different, but you shouldn't completely forget what you learned before in your new topic. One of the elements of the blues that I used in this piece is the 12-bar blues, this is just a chord progression. Another element I used was the blues scale, which I tried to use throughout the whole song. As you may hear, my song sounds pretty much like a traditional blues song. My main melody goes to the trumpet, because it is the most bluesy of the instruments. Also I based my title on the classic blues song. Composing music has taught me a lot, I had never composed before this and it is a lot harder then I thought it would be. It taught me that art does not come out of nothing, ideas have to spark. In other words our ideas don't come out without inspiration. So, thank you Matt for inspiring us.

    • 1 min
    The Little Ocean

    The Little Ocean

    Before I started my piece, I studied jazz. I learned a lot about jazz, especially what its made out of. We were required to make something like a presentation about our topic, and it had to be about 20 slides long, so we really needed to know a lot about our topic. Some things that I learned about jazz are 9th chords and syncopation. I had a really good idea for a composition and I liked it more than the idea I had for a jazz piece, so I went with that and tried to incorporate jazz into my piece as much as possible. I was able to do this even though my piece is something like a lullaby because I used a syncopated main idea in the vibraphone. In my first part the main melody is in the vibraphone, but then it switches to the bass because I wanted to change the parts that the instruments had. In the very beginning of 5th grade, I wasn't even sure I would ever be able to compose anything because everything was so new to me. Now, because I know so much more, I'm able to compose pieces not only in school and as an assignment but out of school on my own time. Music has really taught me to listen to my thoughts, which I couldn't do before learning about this. I think that learning to compose music will help me playing instruments as well because I will know what the music I'm playing is made up of.

    • 1 min
    Lullaby

    Lullaby

    At first I studied Blues. I learned so much about where it comes from and about what it's about, but in the end, I found myself very uninspired to write my own Blues piece, so I somewhat changed my genre to a more classical feel. I had already been composing a different piece outside of music class, and decided to use those notes and transpose them into different instruments. I think the reason why I didn't want to use Blues is because of the fact that I wanted it to be smooth but fast, sharp but slow, and Blues doesn't really have that. It has more of a consistant feel to it. I titled m piece 'Lullaby,' because that's exactly what it sounds like. Composing music has taught me so much, including improving my musical sense, learning new musical words, and improving my music reading skills which helped me outside of music class in my piano lessons.

    • 1 min

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